A drink driver, who was almost three times over the limit and took a “wrong turn” onto the tram tracks in the City Centre, has been disqualified from driving.


Maurice Cooney, aged 33, from Telford, drove his Mercedes C-Class onto the line near Snow Hill railway station on Sunday 6th November after going out for drinks in the city centre with friends the previous evening.

Police were called just after 7am and found Cooney in a building near his car. When breathalysed, he gave a reading of 97 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – the limit is 32 micrograms.

He told officers he had meant to stay in a hotel but had decided to drive home instead and could not remember how he had ended up on the tracks, adding he had no intention of doing so but had simply “taken a wrong turn”.

The car was unable to be driven as it was wedged on the tracks and the fire service had to be called to remove it, causing trams to be delayed for around four hours.

Cooney admitted drink driving and obstructing the tram line at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (17/11). He was handed a 17-month ban with fines and costs totalling more than £400.

PC Lee Byrne from British Transport Police, said: “With the party season just around the corner, this is a timely reminder about the dangers of drink driving.

“While Cooney is extremely apologetic for his actions, there is never any excuse for getting behind the wheel while drunk and why he thought he was ok to drive despite only stopping drinking an hour beforehand beggars belief.

“This turned out not only to be a costly mistake for Cooney, who wrote off a car worth around £25,000 which he’d barely had a month, but now faces a driving ban and fine.

“On this occasion, he is lucky it’s just his wallet and pride which have taken the hit; had he driven on the tracks just an hour later when the trams were running, the consequences could have been catastrophic.”